Microsoft is scaring Windows 11 users with a false security warning - but don’t panic

Person looking unhappy at a laptop
(Image credit: Shutterstock / Tiko Aramyan)

Windows 11 has seen the unwelcome return of an old bug whereby the system is warning that something’s wrong with the security of the user’s PC, when in fact there’s nothing amiss at all.

This is a glitch in the operating system’s Security app which reports that “Standard hardware security not supported,” telling the user that their device fails to meet the requirements for ‘standard’ hardware security.

Clearly, then, that’s informing you that your PC’s hardware isn’t up to scratch on the security front, visually flagging this with a little yellow warning triangle on the taskbar, as multiple Neowin readers have reported.

The tech site also uncovered a number of complaints on Microsoft’s Feedback Hub relating to this bug which has been around since June 2022 – apparently resurfacing now.

The truth is that there’s nothing wrong with the PC’s security at all, it’s just a bug causing the system to misreport a problem that doesn’t exist. From what we can gather, it seems to happen after performing a reset with Windows 11.

A typical report highlighted by Neowin explains: “Hi everyone! I have a problem with the hardware security standard, because it’s not supported. I reset my laptop due to personal issues, but before resetting it the standard hardware security was supported. My laptop has all the latest updates installed, Windows 11 Home 22H2 22621.1265.”

Analysis: An unfortunate source of unnecessary panic for some users

So, what on earth’s going on here? As Neowin points out, in the past, Jen Gentleman, a software engineer and Senior Program Manager at Microsoft involved with test builds of Windows 11, has chimed in on this problem.

Some time ago – in July 2022, in fact, not long after the original bug reports came forth – Gentleman posted on the Feedback Hub to explain that the issue was fixed in the preview build which had just been launched at the time (version 25169).

Gentleman concludes: “Please note, due to timing of the payload, these issues may come back after the next Windows Security update. It will go away again after a future Windows Security update.”

With the bug again rearing its ugly head now, we can only assume that as was the case before, this will simply go away on its own with a future update.

While this isn’t exactly a problem as such, as the flaw is benign – there’s nothing wrong with the PC at all – the trouble is that it’s making users think there is something up with their system. And with it flagged as a security problem, that could lead to all sorts of fretting that maybe their Windows 11 installation is somehow open to being exploited.

Yes, you could argue that a bit of Googling should turn up the information we’re providing here – namely that there’s nothing to be concerned about, and the issue should go away by itself soon enough. But less tech-savvy users might not discover this under their own steam and could be left worrying unduly, which is far from an ideal situation.

This is an odd one, for sure, and hopefully a bug we’ll see the back of soon enough – and for good, this time.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).